Louisville hosts UMKC and Utah Valley in two day event

Louisville hosts two-day Billy Minardi Classic at the KFC Yum! Center

No. 16 Louisville (9-1) welcomes Missouri-Kansas City (7-4) and Utah Valley (5-6) for the two-day Billy Minardi Classic that begins on Tuesday evening at the KFC Yum! Center.

Here's a quick notebook on the upcoming games.

About the Mindari Classic

This is the 14th Annual Billy Mindari Classic, an event that honors U of L head coach Rick Pitino's close friend and brother-in-law who lost his life when the World Trade Center attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

Louisville has won 12 the event in 13 years, with the Cardinals posting a 16-1 record since the game's inception in 2002.

UNC-Wilmington is also participating in the Minardi Classic, playing Utah Valley on Tuesday and UMKC on Wednesday.


Fox Sports South will carry Tuesday game against UMKC in the Louisville market.  For a complete listing of coverage, click here. The game is available online via ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN App.

Wednesday's contest against Utah Valley will air on ESPNU and online at ESPN3.  It will be Utah Valley's first-ever appearance on one of the ESPN networks.


In a Monday blog posting, head coach Rick Pitino updated his roster's injury status.

Freshman Deng Adel, who recently returned to practice, is expected to see action on Tuesday night.  Pitino described the rookie as "rusty."

Anas Mahmoud remains out and has yet to return to practice.

Mangok Mathiang suffered a broken bone in his left foot in the Cardinals win over WKU on Saturday, had successful surgery and is out 6-8 weeks.

"We suffered a major blow to our team as our defensive leader went down with a broken foot," Pitino said in his blog post. "This is a huge blow as Mangok is the communicator both in practice and games. We will look for the silver lining and discover what it is."


There's a purpose behind the teams scheduled to participate in this year's Minardi Classic.

UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson and UNC-Wilmington head coach Kevin Keatts are both former assistants for Pitino at Louisville.  Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope is one of five Pitino players who are active collegiate head coaches.

Pitino has a 43-11 record against former assistants and players.

This is the third meeting ever between U of L and UMKC, with the Cardinals winning both previous meetings.  This will mark the first meeting between U of L and Utah Valley.


With an average of 86 points per game, Louisville ranks 12th in the country in scoring offense.  When coupled with the difficult Cardinals defense, their early season accomplishments become even more impressive.

Louisville leads in the nation in scoring margin (+30.4) and is second in rebounding margin (+16.5) and scoring defense (55.6), and fourth in field goal percentage defense (.352).

Damion Lee has led the way for the Cardinals, leading the team in scoring in eight of 10 games this season. He is among the ACC leaders in scoring (18.3, 4th), steals (1.7, 3rd) and free throw percentage (.872, 4th).


UMKC, which is coming off back-to-back wins, returns four starters from a 14-19 squad last season. The team is lead by Martez Harrison, the 2015 WAC Player of the Year, in scoring (16.0) and is the 10th player in school history with 1,000 career points.

The Kangaroos, who are in their third-year under head coach Kareem Richardson, were picked to finish third by the media in its second season in the Western Athletic Conference.


Utah Valley, winners of three straight, are led by junior forward Konner Frey, who tops the team in scoring (16.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg) and has scoredat least 15 points in seven games this season.

The Wolverines can shoot and defend the three-point shot.  In their first year under Mark Pope, UVU leads the WAC in three-pointers per game (7.8), free throw percentage (.705) and in three-point percentage defense (.302).

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